Amazon Is Filled With Fake Reviews—Here's What to Look For

iStock.com/EricVega
iStock.com/EricVega

Looking at the ratings on Amazon products can help consumers make more informed decisions about what they add to their shopping carts. But shopping smart isn't always as easy as selecting items with a four- or five-star rating: Factors like the length, quality, and number of reviews also make a difference. And with so many fraudulent third-party sellers working through the site, it's not always clear which reviews are trustworthy. For people who feel lost every time they browse Amazon, Lifehacker recently shared its tips for spotting fake reviews.

This may sound obvious, but to get a feel for what you're purchasing, it helps to actually read the reviews. If every review gives the same bland praise for the product without mentioning anything negative, think twice before heading to the checkout page. Some retailers pay people to leave fraudulent five-star reviews on their products in order to boost their ratings and game Amazon's algorithm. Reviews that are no longer than a few words are another sign of such scams.

Looking for "verified purchases" badges on reviews can help you weed out the fakes, but it's no guarantee that a review's authentic: Fake customers sometimes receive the products they've been paid to rate. The best way to determine if the review you're reading is real is to look for personal details and imperfections in the story. Sometimes a three- or four-star review is a better indication of what you're getting than a too-good-to-be-true five-star review.

If all this seems overwhelming, you can also use artificial intelligence to help parse Amazon reviews. The website Fakespot can analyze all the reviews on a particular Amazon listing in just a few seconds, looking for those factors typically associated with deception, like similar wording. It then tells you how many of the available reviews are likely to be authentic.

And if you're really committed to making the best purchase you can, you can always take your research off Amazon. A product that has a similar ratings on a less popular retail site to what it has on Amazon has likely been reviewed honestly. And if you suspect fraud, you can let Amazon know by clicking "report abuse" next to the review.

[h/t Lifehacker]

Google Is Celebrating Friends's 25th Anniversary With Hilarious Easter Eggs

Getty Images
Getty Images

On September 22, the more-popular-than-ever show Friends turns 25 years old, and this pop culture milestone has generated all kinds of celebrations, like the release of Central Perk coffee, a LEGO set, a “How You Doin’?” T-shirt, a jewelry collection, a theatrical Friends marathon, and more. To properly prepare for the anniversary, you’ll probably want to head to Google to learn more about the show, right? Well, now the search engine giant is even getting in on the fun with some Friends-inspired Easter eggs. 

All you need to do is either Google your favorite character’s full name or the first name followed by “Friends.” Not to give too much away—it really is a nice surprise—but type in “Joey Tribbiani.” A pizza icon will appear under the Knowledge Panel (located beneath the picture) on the right side of the screen. Click on the pizza to see an animation, followed by one of Joey's most recognizable (and relatable) lines. To annoy coworkers, friends, family members, and/or anyone else in earshot, just keep clicking on the icon. 

But the best Easter egg pops up when you Google “Friends glossary.” At the top of the page, you'll get funny definitions for words like pivot, woopah, unagi, unfloopy, and plenty of other running jokes from the show. Between the glossary and the Easter eggs, you won’t be able to get “Smelly Cat” out of your head, but you'll at least wind up with a unique trifle recipe.

PopSockets Is Rolling Out a Line of Drink Holders

PopSockets
PopSockets

PopSockets have become something of a fidgeting consumer’s dream. The cute and accordion-esque accessory knob that attaches to phones allows for an improved grip and gives people something to noodle with. Now, the company is hoping you’ll recognize the value in having a PopSockets appliance for your hot and cold drinks.

The PopThirst Cup Sleeve and the PopThirst Can Holder resemble insulated sleeves you can purchase for beverages. But these sleeves have a socket for a PopGrip attachment, which you can thread between your fingers to make for a more secure grip. This might be beneficial in the car, where bumpy roads can prompt more spills.

A PopSockets PopThirst cup sleeve is pictured
PopSockets

Holding a drink with the PopGrip acting as a handle seems a little more precarious. Most people will not do this, but if they do, you will probably find the consequences on Instagram.

Since going on sale in 2014, PopSockets has become a phone accessory giant, moving 100 million units in 2018.

The PopThirst Cup Sleeve and Can Holder are both one-size-fits-all and retail for $15 each.

[h/t The Verge]

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